SANTA ANA COLLEGE el Don/eldonnews.org • MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017 LIFESTYLE 11 FITFASTER Steroids may give athletes a nicer physique, but it comes with health risks that can eventually lead to death STORY BY JORDY ESPINOZA / el Don There she was. Cold, empty and lifeless. Nancy Benoit lay with a bible by her side, tied and stran- physiological limits of their body's muscle, making it gled with a cord on the night of June 22, 2007. The grow bigger and stronger than it would naturally. next morning her seven-year-old son Daniel would “Anabolic steroids, in addition to being illegal, also be found lying on his bed littered with bruises have important health consequences,” said Aaron L. around his neck and arms. He was strangled in his Baggish, M.D., lead author of the study and instruc- sleep, caught in a “crippler crossface” wrestling hold tor in the Department of Medicine at Massachusetts and surrounded by posters of his murderer — his General Hospital in Boston. Despite the potential father, professional wrestler for World Wrestling to increase muscle performance, steroid use also Entertainment, Chris Benoit. incurs side effects ranging from unhealthy skin to Although ten years have passed since the Benoit double murder-suicide, it exemplifies the radical delusional behavior. The Science Daily News noted in a story that long- effects of anabolic steroids, one of the most contro- term anabolic steroid use may weaken the heart versial drugs, according to the National Institute on and increase the risk of heart failure. In a study Drug Abuse. conducted by Baggish, the left ventricle, the heart's Steroids are medical treatments that come in two Nikki Nelsen / el Don increase muscle mass and decrease fat push the main pumping chamber, was significantly weaker varieties: anabolic steroids and corticosteroids. during contraction in steroid users compared to Both are synthetic versions of hormones produced non-steroid users. Baggish also found that the left naturally in the body. However, they perform two ventricle pumps out 55 to 70 percent of the blood different tasks. Corticosteroids are used by doctors that fills the heart. He said that 83 percent of all to decrease inflammation, while anabolic steroids steroid users in a 12-person study had a low pump- are the synthetic version of the male sex hormone, ing capacity that previous studies have linked to testosterone. In the United States, individuals need a increased risk of heart failure and sudden cardiac prescription to acquire any anabolic steroid. arrest. Anabolic steroids are currently banned in every Anabolic steroid use may also increase impulsive major sporting organization. According to the Drug behavior. “Roid rage,” aggressive behavior induced Enforcement Administration, they are classified as by anabolic steroid use, is caused by using steroids Schedule III substances under the Controlled Sub- to a point where the brain is damaged and causes stances Act. Drugs under this category have a high loss of self-control. The physical effects and the potential for physical and mental dependence. mental reactions associated with steroid use destroy Athletes that take anabolic steroids in order to the mind from within.